Why it matters. The ambitious anti-cancer plan for the coming decade

On Thursday, Emmanuel Macron will unveil the national strategy to fight cancer for the next ten years on the occasion of World Cancer Day. He will present the main axes of France’s policy on research, prevention and patient care before heading to the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif near Paris, the first center against cancer in Europe.

He will meet children treated for cancer and their families. This tour will also be devoted to basic research. The head of state will meet Insermers researchers who research personal immunotherapy by using special biotherapy and artificial intelligence.

1.7 billion euros over five years

“This will be a highlight of the five-year period. The president has chosen to commit very strongly to this strategy. He wants to go faster, further and stronger than previous plans,” explains one at the Elysee Palace, remembering that 3.8 million French people living with cancer or being cured. Cancer is responsible for 157,000 deaths each year.

The ten-year strategy is based on a first phase equipped with 1.7 billion euros over five years, half of which will go to research. The appropriations devoted to the fight against cancer have increased by 20% compared with the 2017-2021 plan.

EU plan for € 4 billion

The EU unveiled a plan to fight cancer on Wednesday, and plans to commit 4 billion euros to fund prevention, research and treatment programs.

Within the framework of the huge “Europe of health” project, the European leader intends to release funds to strengthen access to screening and effective diagnostics, and early detection provides the best chances of survival.

In 2020, around 2.7 million people in the EU were diagnosed with cancer, and 1.3 million Europeans died from it; The financial cost of cancer for the twenty-five is estimated at 100 billion euros per year.

Tobacco prices: an adjustment at the top in Europe?

Emmanuel Macron sets ambitious quantified goals. The government wants to reduce the number of preventable cancers by 60,000 per year by 2040. Today, 153,000 cancers (or four out of ten) can be avoided because they are related to behavior. The fight against smoking remains a priority, while tobacco-related cancers cause 45,000 deaths per year.

Should smokers expect a further increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes beyond 10 euros, when the government has decided to stop tobacco taxation in 2021?

“The award is an important deterrent,” admits Emmanuel Macron’s entourage. The president called for European harmonization and adaptation to the highest price during his meeting with a dozen oncologists last week.

The “happy hours” in the crosshairs

The fight against alcoholism, responsible for 16,000 deaths from cancer per year and the second risk factor that could be prevented, had been one of the forgotten things in the previous anti-cancer plan. The government wants to fight against certain forms of alcohol dependence, especially among young people. “We need to tackle the attractiveness of alcohol, for example by targeting ‘happy hours’ in bars,” says one at the Elysee.

The strategy also plans to increase the number of cancer screenings from 9 to 10 million per year. The effort will focus in particular on screening for colorectal cancer, performed by less than one in three French people aged 50 to 74 years.

The government wants to reduce the proportion of patients who still suffer from side effects after recovering from cancer diagnosed five years earlier, from two-thirds to one-third.

It also aims to improve the survival rate for cancer with the worst prognosis by 2030, those who currently have less than a chance in three to stay alive after five years of illness.